My name is Marie and I am a group exercise instructor, a wife, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a mother of three, a grandma, a foodie, a fitness enthusiast, a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Coach and your fitness accountability partner.
My Story ….
So many years ago … I used to be really fit – back in the day, I used to teach “group exercise – “aerobics” – you know, Jane Fonda Style. I was young, care-free, slim, and I thought I could eat anything I desired. That was back then …
Fast forward, 1991 after I had my first child. Although I gained a few pounds, I still felt ok with myself. Baby number 2 came a little bit over a year after baby number 1. I gained a few more pounds. The kids kept me busy … work kept me busy while my hubby went to school. A few years later, surprise baby number 3 came. We were excited and super happy. But then life got BUSIER.
My main FOCUS was the kids. With the hubby working full time – I stayed home to watch kids. The kids grew and I GREW too. I blame the weight gain to poor food choices, lack of exercise, and just a lack of motivation to love myself a little more.
I gained quite a bit of weight through the years. The clothes got tighter. Keeping up with the kids got tougher. I would huff and puff every time I exerted myself. If I walked a distance or stood for too long and took a break, even for 10 minutes – I would have the hardest time getting back up. My feet would feel numb. I was just tired all the time. I had to take blood pressure medication and cholesterol medication. To top it off, I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – all because I didn’t think to take care of “me”.
My turning point …
Everything was fine in my world as I would like to think until I got a facebook message saying that we were having a high school reunion. OMG! I freaked out. I used to be the skinny girl in high school and now … I was not. It looked like I swallowed that skinny girl. I was seriously panicking – what were my old high school classmates going to say? I had a lot of sleepless nights contemplating if I should even show up. But, I somehow managed to suck it up and show up … It wasn’t all that bad (I wasn’t the only one who grew) … but it wasn’t good either.
The sad truth – Pictures don’t lie!
After the reunion, I must admit, for the first time, I was bothered by how much weight I have gained. I remember looking at photos in the Christmas of 2009 and stared … and then cried … I was BIG!!! How did I allow that to happen? I tried to look for the original photo taken but couldn’t find it only to realize that I have been cropping all the photos so that I don’t have to look at the REAL picture. I didn’t have a lot of photos maybe because I was the designated historian of the family – the appointed picture taker … or maybe because I DIDN’T care to have my photo taken.
In 2010, I decided to finally shift the FOCUS to ME… give myself some LOVE. I started working out – walking first, then a few at home workout videos. After successfully losing 5 pounds, I got introduced to Zumba by a very good friend. Since I loved dancing when I was younger, it was a perfect fit. Without even trying one class, I decided to sign up for licensing to teach it. THAT WAS BOLD!!!
I mean, who was I going to teach? Who was going to go and exercise with the BIG Zumba instructor. I pushed that negative thought to the side and just went to get licensed. After, I got my license, I started looking for a place to teach. I found a local dance studio who let me use their space. And so … the dancing began ….
I started with a few close friends as students and slowly – grew my classes. I had no excuse not to exercise – I was getting paid to help people lose weight. If that is not MOTIVATION to lose weight, I don’t know what is. I mean, I can not “NOT SHOW UP” cause I already took payment. A few months into teaching group exercise and after dropping some weight, I got cleared off of blood pressure and cholesterol medication. I was so HAPPY!!!
I started teaching one class format – ZUMBA (was my cardio workout that helped me drop most of the weight), more weight started to fall off when I started teaching other formats like Kickboxing and Tabata Bootcamp. But now that I have lost the weight – Barre has helped me tone up – BIG TIME!
I have lost about 50 pounds since I started my weight loss journey. I have been helping people get back into fitness since 2010. My personal weight loss was not a quick process but the weight has not come back. I have embraced a healthier lifestyle – I am happier, healthier and now I do not hide when people want to take photos. I am able to better care for all the people I love – all because I loved myself a little bit more and started taking care of me.
And then -2020 … COVID19 – hit the world. Like all fitness things – everything went virtual. So did I. I am currently teaching online and have been teaching successfully since March 2020.
Since I have been teaching group exercise at my local YMCA since 2010 and since I have a fascination with online technology, it was just natural for me to transition my classes online. I am licensed to teach Zumba, Barre, Tabata Bootcamp, and Silver Sneakers. In the past, I have also taught kickboxing, PiYo(fusion of Pilates and Yoga), and Hip Hop Hustle. I completed my nutrition and wellness coaching certification (PN Level 1) thru Precision Nutrition in November 2020.
How can I help you?
If you let me, I am here to be your fitness accountability partner and coach. I have been through a weight loss and fitness journey myself – I know the challenges. Follow me on social media via my blog and IG feed and feel free to reach out and ask questions. You can also join my wellness accountability group on Facebook.